Christmas Eve in Paris by Mary Mulholland


When she calls I leave oysters, champagne,

and go straight there. She opens the door.

I follow her into the cold, candlelit room,

unsure about her arrangement: I have

never seen him in a suit in bed. Thinner,

longer, he looks so serious with his halo

of white hair. It’s been three days, but

I can’t… she starts, then smooths the sheet

to one side of him as she heaves with sighs

then stares as if I too should be crying.

But I, barely breathing, am thinking of things

we share, like air, that only belongs to the living;

him lying between us, no longer a part.



Mary Mulholland’s poems have been published in Ambit, Arc, Fenland Poetry Journal, Finished Creatures, High Window, London Grip, Perverse, Poetry News, Snakeskin, Under the Radar , and in several anthologies. Twice-winner in Poetry Society Members’ Competitions, she’s also been commended or shortlisted in competitions including Aesthetica, Artlyst, Aryamati, Bridport, Trim, Wasafiri, Winchester and the Live Canon Pamphlet prize. Mary holds a Newcastle/ Poetry School MA in Writing Poetry and co-edits The Alchemy Spoon.

15 December 2021